ERJ staff report (TP)
Minnesota – Airless or non-pneumatic tires have popped up from time to time over the past few years, and while they offer many advantages over traditional air-filled tires, they haven't been available outside of research labs… until now, reported Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo.
Polaris, based in Minnesota, is officially the first company to offer a vehicle with non-pneumatic tires on its new Sportsman WV850 HO all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
Military enthusiasts might recognise the ATV’s design, and that's because Polaris based it on the US army's MV850 ATV. So with a reinforced steel exoskeleton it can tow 1,500 pounds (680kg) or slowly winch another vehicle up to 3,500 pounds (1,587kg). In other words, it's almost like a miniature all-terrain tank, minus the giant cannon.
But of course the real stars of the show are the ATV's TerrainArmor tires which Polaris claims can survive a hit from a .50-caliber round and still function just fine for 350 miles (563km). They look similar to airless tires being developed by Bridgestone and Michelin, but there's no indication they belong to either company, so Polaris might have developed its own. And as for the ATV, it will be available next month (December) for $15,000 (€11,093) in limited quantities, so if you're tired of fixing flats, you might want to get your pre-order in fast.
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Full story from Gizmodo